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Group 1 earns top marks in service customer phone calls study

The 2023 PSI Service Telephone Effectiveness (STE) Study evaluated the effectiveness and quality of service telephone calls to help customers quickly and easily schedule a service appointment, placing Group 1 Automotive first among the seventeen largest U.S. auto dealer groups. Berkshire Hathaway Automotive and Ken Garff Automotive Group followed in the rankings.

According to Fran O’Hagan, CEO of Pied Piper, “Customers who find making a service appointment difficult vote with their feet by going to another dealership or independent shop. The auto industry has long placed a premium on the satisfaction of customers who bring their cars in for maintenance, but what happens before the appointment? STE bridges that gap.”

In order to conduct the study, Pied Piper pretended to be a service customer and called each of the 1,739 stores that were part of the seventeen largest auto dealer groups between January and May of 2023. Overall, 39 separately weighted efficiency and quality data points that support the customer purpose of swiftly and simply schedule a service appointment for a given date and time are combined to generate the STE scores, which range from 0 to 100. Quality measurements account for 38% of the final score, while efficiency measurements account for 62%. 

Due to their effective calls that offered appointments swiftly and readily, 13% of dealerships nationwide received STE scores of 80 or higher. In contrast, 20% of dealerships nationwide received scores below 40, indicating a missed opportunity to schedule an appointment or turn away a customer. Comparatively, 27% of Group 1 Automotive stores received scores above 80, while just 12% of Serra Automotive dealerships received scores below 40.

The following are examples of variation by dealer group averages used to measure their performance:

  • What was the elapsed time before speaking with a service advisor?
    • Less than 60 seconds on average: Greenway, Berkshire Hathaway, Ganley
    • More than 90 seconds on average: Group 1, Penske, Asbury, Ken Garff
  • Was the customer asked if they were experiencing any other issues?
    • More than 50% of the time on average: Ken Garff, Group 1, Morgan, Herb Chambers, Hendrick
    • Less than 25% of the time on average: Greenway, Napleton, Suburban
  • Was the customer told how long the service would take?
    • More than 40% of the time on average: Ken Garff, Ganley, Herb Chambers
    • Less than 20% of the time on average: Morgan, Greenway
  • Was the customer provided a cost estimate?
    • More than 45% of the time on average: Ganley, Victory
    • Less than 23% of the time on average: Napleton, West Herr, Morgan, AutoNation, Penske
  • Was the customer offered alternative transportation?
    • More than 40% of the time on average: Suburban, Group 1, Penske, West Herr
    • Less than 10% of the time on average: Ganley, Greenway, Napleton
  • How many days out was the first available appointment?
    • Two days or less on average: Group 1, Greenway
    • More than seven days on average: Ken Garff, Herb Chambers, Suburban, West Herr

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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